National Adoption Week was launched in 1997 and this year sees its 30th anniversary of helping people adopt children who are in need of a loving family. The theme for this year’s campaign is ‘Every child deserves a family.’
This is aimed at families who wish to adopt the children who have been waiting the longest – older children, brothers and sisters, and children from ethnic minority backgrounds.
There are a few myths surrounding whether or not people can adopt, and most of them, apart from the few, which include criminal records, are lies. Many of the myths seem to be aimed at your age, that if you are over 40 you cannot adopt. That is absolute rubbish. My aunt and uncle were early 40’s when they went through the adoption process. And it also does not matter about sexual orientation. Whether you are gay or straight, you have the right to make a child’s life happy.
I have decided to write about NAW, because two of my cousins are adopted. It is a long process and it can be tiresome, lasting months, years even. My aunt and uncle decided to adopt after countless miscarriages. They knew the process would be a long one, but they were determined to adopt and have their own family, the one they wanted so badly.
They started off with fostering these two little boys whose parents had both died, and they had been in and out of fostering since they can remember. The youngest, Cory, was really shy, he loved having cuddles and wouldn’t leave your side, whereas the eldest, Brendan, was rebellious. He had taken the brunt of the mental and physical abuse from his last foster mum and it was very hard for him to want to fit in within this new foster parent’s world.
He soon broke down his barrier, after a few months of being with my aunt and uncle and all our family, and wanted to be included in the cuddles with his brother, although he was still very protective over him.
I’m not sure how long it took from going through a series of checks to becoming approved for a child but I’m pretty sure it was nearing the 2 years mark. The process of adopting these two boys took months as well, and they just wanted to have my aunt and uncle as their mum and dad because they loved them so much and did not want to be foster again, they just wanted to live with them forever.
My cousins, who are now 9 and 12, have been happily adopted for four years now, and they are amazing. They are such cheeky little monkeys, and will say whatever to you. They do get in trouble with my aunt and uncle for some of the things they do, but everyone in my family loves them and couldn’t think of them not being involved in our lives.
Children, no matter what age, minority and background just want a family to love them like their own. They want to feel needed and wanted. And this is exactly what NAW is trying to do. Find a child who is best suitable for the family wishing to bring them into their life.
Lisa Faulkner, actress and Adoption Champion says “The adoption process is tough but I understand why – for children who haven’t had the best start in life they need the best possible family. We were determined to see it through though, and when we found out we’d been approved I was over the moon and so happy to be a mum”
Yes, the checks and process is lengthy but once everything is done, and you have your child, isn’t that the best feeling in the world? To know you can now start your family and help this child have the life it deserves. I know that’s how my family felt when my cousins were officially adopted and since I wish to adopt in the future, I hope I give ‘my’ child everything they ought to have.
Visit http://www.nationaladoptionweek.org.uk/ for more information about NAW and adoption.